At universities, “interdisciplinary collaboration” is more than a buzz phrase. Increasingly, it’s a condition for securing research funding and tackling challenges in the sciences, arts, and humanities in new and more effective ways.

To help University of Iowa researchers connect with potential funding sources and with one another within and beyond their disciplines and institution, the Division of Sponsored Programs in the Office of Research and Economic Development has launched a new collaboration resource page.

The page includes links to a wide range of resources for identifying potential partners with shared interest and expertise in a particular area, and links to institutional resources that can facilitate and support those partnerships. Examples include:

  • KNODE, a cloud-based tool that provides a comprehensive view of researchers’ expertise within the life sciences, helps connect researchers at Iowa and elsewhere, and provides direct links to scientific content.
  • Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature in all areas of the sciences.
  • SSRN, which provides rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research
  • Iowa Research Online, which preserves and provides access to research papers, theses, dissertations, books, conference presentations, journals and multimedia created by UI faculty, students and staff.
  • A list of all UI core research facilities

“Collaboration doesn’t always come easy, but it’s essential if researchers are going to solve 21st century problems,” said UI Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dan Reed. “Multidisciplinary, multi-institutional teams will make some of the major discoveries in the coming decades, and we want to make sure University of Iowa researchers have the tools and support they need to be at the forefront of that wave.”

Reed said Iowa is already a leader in many areas of interdisciplinary collaboration, most visibly through its seven research clusters.  The Aging Mind and Brain cluster, for example, includes researchers from the life sciences, behavioral sciences, social sciences, engineering, medical sciences, human factors, biostatistics, ethics, law, and others—all working to enhance the lives and societal vitality of our aging population, focusing on its cognitive aspects in particular.

The UI is also a leader in collaborations between medicine and engineering, particularly in the area of biomedical imaging.

The resource page is just one of several recent initiatives from the Office of Research and Economic Development intended to spur conversation and collaboration across the disciplines.

Last year the office gathered faculty from a wide range of fields in a series of “ideation” workshops to explore ways to address novel research frontiers and promote collaboration. And it held two salon-style talks, called “Ideas & Intersections,” that brought together faculty from different disciplines to discuss common topics, including epidemics and privacy in the digital age.

The UI Office of Research and Economic Development supports and advances research, scholarship, and creative activity on the campus. Through a broad variety of activities and services, it seeks to play an important role in the underpinning of these creative activities in the public and private sectors of Iowa and beyond. More at http://research.uiowa.edu/.